Monday, May 12, 2008


Schools to get tables, chairs


The Education Ministry has approved a special RM15 million allocation to resolve the perennial problem of the lack of tables and chairs in many schools in Sabah. Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Masidi Manjun in announcing this yesterday, said the funds may not solve the longstanding problem immediately but at least it is a sign that something better is being done to really address the issue of poor facilities in many schools in the State. “Datuk (Seri) Hishammuddin (Hussein)’s office called me yesterday (Saturday), authorising me to announce the special allocation for Sabah on his behalf. This is a great news and we thank Datuk Hishammuddin for his quick response in approving this much needed allocation,” he said during the Kimaragang Harvest Festival celebration in Kota Marudu yesterday. He urged the State Education Department to take appropriate follow-up action immediately to secure the allocation so that it can be put into use to help improve the dire situation in many schools in Sabah. The problem was raised at the State Assembly last week by Tanjung Batu Assemblywoman Datuk Hamisah Samad who informed the House that students and teachers at SK Kalabakan had to squat on the floor for their classes. In responding to the issue during his winding-up speech, Masidi who is also the Minister in charge of the State education portfolio in Sabah, did not mince his words in criticising the Ministry of Education for the apparent lack of urgency to solve the problem that is haunting many schools in Sabah, especially in rural areas. He told the Assembly that as the Minister tasked to look after the State’s education affairs; he felt embarrassed and helpless by the lack of funding made available to effectively resolve the problem. Masidi in announcing the allocation yesterday, said Sabah still need a bigger allocation, taking into consideration that it is a huge State that makes up nearly a quarter of the whole country.